River bathing in Oxford – past, present and future
Thursday 10th March, 8pm
Rewley House, 1 Wellington Square.
In the Covid summers of 2020 and ’21, the riverbanks of Oxford became the city’s own holiday resorts, and a handful of half-forgotten names re-emerged from the city’s memory: Long Bridges, Tumbling Bay, Parson’s Pleasure, Dame’s Delight… In this presentation, cultural historian George Townsend surveys the early evidence of river bathing and swimming. Local historian Richard Mills draws on fascinating primary research to shed light on the rise and fall of Oxford’s official bathing places. And Eleanor Blyth, who has been central in local efforts to establish official bathing water status in the city, surveys current river users and outlines plans to rejuvenate Long Bridges.